Can Rottweilers Kill You?

You may have heard the news of rottweiler attacks on adults and children. But can rottweilers kill you?

Yes, Rottweilers can kill you if they intend to. They are the 2nd most fatal dog breed in the USA, giving them a fearsome reputation. However, this aggression is not inherent in their breed and is just a result of bad upbringing and poor socialization.

Further in this article, we will discuss the true nature of rottweilers and unravel the reasons behind their bad reputation.

Understanding Rottweilers

Rottweilers are one of the oldest dog breeds that descended from the drover dogs left by Romans in Rottweil, Germany. Their main job was driving and guarding herds of cattle and protecting the owner’s property. Some owners even tied their pouches full of money around their Rottweiler’s neck to keep it safe from thieves.

Their job is the reason for their evolved muscular build and broad chest. Butchers mostly bred this dog for practical uses such as herding and pulling carts of meat to sell. The Rottweiler breed was also used during World War I and II as a messenger, guard, and ambulance dog.

Their Personality

Rottweilers are not naturally aggressive and vicious as they are portrayed in popular media. In fact, well-bred Rottweilers are calm, intelligent, and confident breeds. Because of their history, they have an instinct to protect and defend against threatening strangers.

They are also highly territorial. This makes them the perfect guard dogs for homes. If left on their own, Rottweilers might bark and dig a lot.

Without proper training and guidance, they have a tendency to switch from protectiveness to aggression. This can be dangerous since a triggered Rottweiler may not be able to distinguish friends from foes. They are highly trainable and are the best companion dogs you’ll have.

Are Rottweilers Really Aggressive?

Rottweilers are guard dogs; they are great at protecting their owners or territory from any kind of threat. A well-trained rottweiler will be able to differentiate between a stranger threat and a friendly stranger.

However, poor socialization and inadequate training can lead to aggression in Rotties. They are not aggressive by nature. It all depends on how the rottweiler was raised.

How to Survive a Rottweiler Attack

To reiterate, Rottweilers are not naturally vicious and are very protective. Like any other dog, Rottweilers can badly hurt you if it sees you as dangerous and threatening. If in case you found yourself unable to avoid an attack, whether it’s your dog or not, here are some useful tips to (hopefully) remember:

  • Before an attack, try to deescalate the situation by stopping and removing eye contact. A dog on the verge of an attack will most likely bare its teeth, growling and furs raining on the back of its neck. DON’T run away since you cannot outrun, especially if it is just a few meters away from you.
  • If the attack is inevitable, try to stay upright as much as possible so you won’t be pushed to the ground.
  • If you lost your balance or got pushed down, curl yourself in a fetal position and defend your head. Shield your face and head to prevent severe damage to your critical senses. Scan the area for nearby structures and hide in or climb it away from the dog.
  • If holding a child, you should use their bodies as a shield and turn their backs on the attacking dog. Place hands firmly around the child to keep the child safe. This should also keep the child from running away, which can cause more injuries.
  • In case you get bitten in the limbs or legs, do not attempt to tear it away or struggle to get away from it. It’s best to stay put and wait for the animal to free their bite. This is to keep the bitten part from being torn open or worsen the injury.
  • Resort to positive training and never hit a dog when disciplining a Rottweiler. Repeated beating may trigger aggressive behavior for this breed.

Also Read: Do Rottweilers Attack their Owners.

How to Raise a Well-Balanced Rottweiler

Rottweiler training

As mentioned, Rottweilers are not inherently violent and will need a good leader as their owner. Good training will make them gentle, playful, and loving members of the family. Here are some quick tips you can follow to raise a well-rounded Rottweiler:

  • Socialize Rottweiler puppies in their early puppyhood and also enroll them in obedience classes. Rottweilers are a dominant breed, so socializing will make them less threatened around other dogs. Classes like this train them to recognize leaders and know what is expected of them.
  • Enroll in leadership classes for dogs to know how to establish that role to your Rottweiler and for them to respect you as the alpha dog.
  • Rottweilers love having people around and get bored when left alone. When this happens, they tend to be destructive and noisy.
  • Monitor Rottweilers around children, especially if they are not well-trained yet. Well-trained dogs will know what acceptable behavior around little humans is. Because of the children’s size, they may have the tendency to herd around the children and “bump” them. This can cause kids to fall, especially the smaller ones. In some cases, they can get excited and play harshly with kids.
  • When getting new pets inside the house, introduce them to your adult Rottweiler with care. They can become aggressive to other animals, especially dogs of the same sex. They can eventually learn to co-exist with them with your guidance.
  • Rottweilers tend to be obese, so monitor their food intake. Keep them active by doing 10-20 minutes of playtime or walks every day.

Rottweiler as a Threat

Even though they are as dangerous as other dogs, their portrayal in the news made them intimidating pets. This reputation, paired with size and strength, prompted some countries to ban ownership of Rottweilers.

In the USA, some states and cities have imposed bans or restrictions for ownership of Rottweilers. These are rooted in the community’s fear of the owner unable to control if their dog goes wild. Check with your local laws on the ownership of Rottweilers.

Final Verdict

Rottweilers don’t deserve the negative perception most people have about them. Just like other dogs, they have the claws and fangs to shred someone to pieces. However, this breed has been mankind’s companion for many years already and has been domesticated.

It all boils down to how your Rottweiler is raised and treated growing up. Remember that aggression is a result of irresponsible and unguided training, which can be a danger to people around you.

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